I taught Animal Farm
in English 9 for a number of years and have been a fan of George Orwell since I was in high school myself. I wrote An Emperor Exposed
as an expression of his warning about the temptations to which humans too often succumb when placed in leadership roles. Even a nice guy like Joe can become a cold, dispassionate dictator when he loses sight of his ideals and his idealism.
The Emperor's New Clothes was a childhood favorite of mine, so it became a natural vehicle for the play. I wanted the play to appeal not only to high school students, but to the parents, grandparents, uncles and aunts who are the bread and butter of any high school theatre program. Where would we be if they were not willing to sit through multiple performances of the same play over a weekend? Thus were born the Hagg sisters for the older folks, Mordred and Eldred for the youngsters, and Teresa S. for anyone who has an appreciation for the simply weird. And, required for any play about a king in my humble opinion, you'll note a number of Monty Python-esque moments.
Blessed with a very large and active theatre arts program, I was able to cast seniors in all of the major roles. In particular, the girls who played Ima, Yora and Hoosa had a tremendous time coming up with individual personality quirks for the sisters Hagg. All in college these days, they still use quips from the show in their Facebook musings now and then. We also managed to fit a large number of younger performers on stage as extras in the crowd scenes at the palace which added to the fun.
Thank you kindly for considering my play, and please feel free to forward any questions or comments my way. Dean Dyer